Thursday, May 17, 2012

This Blows!

I spent all day long yesterday trying to run down a problem in my Son's computer. I build and repair the damn things to save some money and ensure that control of the content of what's on the machine is my Son's and his alone. When you buy a P.C. from Best Buy, Target, Walmart, etc they're always proprietary. IOW, the O.S. and whatever software packages pre-installed are often dependent on Microsoft and Dell, HP, etc... and other vendors - so I build my own.

Anyway, the computer would start up... shut down. Start up... shut down. All this would happen in the course of a couple of seconds. I have computer parts laying around the house from all of my former builds so I do have plenty of components to use in diagnosing. I pulled the machine completely apart to clean it out. Tested the power supply, CPU fan, Rom Drives, etc...

So - I finally decided to get a can of compressed air to clean out the Motherboard, fans, CPU, heat sync and other internals that are critical to good operation. Compressed and canned air must to be used to clean these things. You can't just run down to the local gas station or auto shop and use one of their air nozzles. Shop air is full of moisture which is a no-no to any electrical component. Canned air contains propane so it will boil as soon as you spray it. That way electrical goodies won't get wet and be fried.

So I buy a can of compressed air for TEN DOLLARS and what do I get - four or five good squirts and then jack-shit! Ten fucking dollars for damn near nothing! Which leads me to another point - when did American made begin to mean "good enough" instead of "outstanding"? I've used canned air before and cleaned out entire systems with one can. This one lasted four or five squirts. WTF! Maybe I'm being a whiner here but something is wrong with this scenario. Okay - I'm done bitching.

BTW, the problem with the computer was the power button in the front of the case that turns the computer on. There's a dead short in it. Now I have to worry if I'm gonna go out and throw ten bucks down for a power button that will only last six months. Sometimes I just can't win.

Update: On the advice of Alltech Computer Supply in Lomita, Kalifornia, where I buy my computer parts, I switched the reset pin connector with the power button pin connector on the motherboard and solved the power problem. Now - instead of using the power button to boot the computer I just hit the reset button. Thanks Camille.


Adrienne said...

Funny - our computer guru just hauled off hubbies infected computer (custom built by aforementioned guru.) Why is it infected you ask? BECAUSE HE DIDN'T LISTEN TO HIS WIFE AND INSTALL THE MALWAREBYTES PRO FOR A MEASLY $24.95!!!!!

Sorry for shouting.

He had the free version, but prior experience has taught us that you really need the pro version.

So what does he do? Buys the pro version and when it wouldn't install HE BOUGHT IT AGAIN!!!! Ooooooooops - there I go, shouting again. Guess who'll have to deal with the refund on the extra download???

I tried Chameleon to get it loaded, but no go.

Guru came over a few days ago and it seemed to be all fixed but it wasn't so he's taking it home until tomorrow.

In the meantime, hubby has put all his work crap on my computer so I CAN'T GET TO MY COMPUTER. Dang - got to watch the shouting... heh

Soooooooooooooooooooooo - I'm going shopping. That'll teach him!!

BTW - we buy our compressed air at Costco and we have a hard time using up even one can there's so much.

Greasywrench AKA rich b said...

I've been there and done the same thing as your Hubby Adrienne when it comes to buying online. Now I stick to brick n mortar when it comes to software. That way I won't have the hassle of dealing with some faceless, nameless tech support that is all too often in India. No disrespect to Indians but there is a communication problem. I don't speak Hindi and they struggle with English.

I feel for you when it comes to virus problems. I solved that issue long ago by "Ghosting" my hard drive three or four times a week. You may or may not lose whatever data you accumulate between "ghost" images but it is worth the effort. If I get any virus activity I just revert to an earlier image. I also use Avast free home edition anti-virus and it seems to do a great job. Of course the best way to not have virus problems is to never get them to begin with. That's a given.

Oh yeah, I also have a redundant hard drive (500 gigs) where I keep my ghost images. Best investment I ever made.

BTW, I'll try the Costco advice next time. I had a conniption fit yesterday when the can flamed out after only a couple of squirts. I just finished the computer fix ten minutes ago. Now Michael John is downstairs and playing games. yeahhhh....

Anyway, take care and keep on keeping on.

Anonymous said...

Excellent advice on ghosting the machine several times a week. Also, a thought on storing the backups: make sure your backups have a backup. If your data is valuable, you should make sure a copy is stored off-site. Otherwise if your house burns, gets flooded out, or drops into the ocean, you're pretty much screwed.

I use Mozy to do online backups -- I cover 2 machines for $13/month.

Greasywrench AKA rich b said...

You're right about backing up backups Robert. I even did a post here about three years ago when my old backup hard drive got corrupted and I lost all of my ghost images along with eighty gigs of other important data. After doing a data recovery on the second hard drive all I recovered were corrupt images. I'll have to consider another backup plan.. again.